President George W Bush and the United States Congress designated October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, which serves to keep U.S. citizens informed of the true danger that technology can hold. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an opportunity to highlight current cyberthreats, and also serves to remind us to stay vigilant.

What is Cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is the procedure of safeguarding critical systems and sensitive data from digital assaults. Throughout Cybersecurity Awareness Month, there are many events, workshops and seminars that are organized by the government, businesses, and cybersecurity organizations. Here are 10 things to consider as you use technology

  1. Password Security: It is important to have strong, unique passwords and the practice of regularly updating them on all your accounts. It is also good not to use the same password for everything.
  2. Phishing Awareness: It is crucial to be aware of phishing attacks. This is where cybercriminals attempt to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information through fraudulent emails, messages, or websites.
  3. Secure Online Transactions: learn about how to ensure secure online shopping and financial transactions to protect sensitive personal and financial information. Always make sure you’re buying from a reliable website or buyer.
  4. Safe Social Media Use: There are risks associated with sharing personal information on social media platforms and always make sure to protect your privacy.
  5. Cyber Hygiene: Basic cybersecurity hygiene practices, such as keeping software and operating systems up to date and using reputable antivirus software.
  6. Mobile Security: Mobile security is about the risks associated with mobile devices and knowing how to secure them against threats like malware and data breaches can prevent any kind of security issue.
  7. Workplace Security: Encouraging businesses and employees to adopt strong cybersecurity practices in the workplace to protect sensitive corporate information.
  8. IoT Security: Help raise awareness about the security risks posed by Internet of Things (IoT) devices and provide guidance on how to secure them. Consumer IoT devices include smart TVs, fitness wearables, smart appliances, and voice assistants such as Siri or Alexa, to name just a few.
  9. Data Privacy: The importance of data privacy, including understanding how your personal data is collected, used, and protected.
  10. Cybersecurity Career Awareness: There are tons of careers in cybersecurity and encouraging individuals to pursue education and training in this field to address the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month serves as a reminder that everyone has a role to play in keeping the digital world safe and secure. By promoting good cybersecurity practices and staying informed about the latest threats and trends, you can better protect yourself against cyberattacks and data breaches.

Every October, the American Banking Association (ABA) rolls out its educational material on “Banks Never Ask That”,  which is a fun series of information designed to help build awareness around keeping your banking and other information secure. For more information from First Bank on cyber and other types of security, please visit our webpage dedicated to security information.